W. Norris Clarke's metaphysics of the universe as a journey rests on six major positions: the unrestricted dynamism of the mind, the primacy of the act of existence, the participation structure of reality, and the person, considered as both the starting point of philosophy and the source of the categories needed for a flexible contemporary metaphysics. Reflecting on his conscious life and the universe around him, the finite person mounts by a two-fold path to its Infinite source, who, though (...) immutable in His natural being, is mutable in the intentional being of His personal knowledge and love. The personal God is the efficient cause from whom the universe comes and the final cause to whom it returns.Less optimistic than Norris Clarke, John Caputo wonders about his metaphysics of the person. In a hermeneutical interpretation of the human face, the person through whom Being "sounds" discloses an ambiguous Being that both reveals and conceals itself. Far from grounding a casual ascent to God, hermeneutical phenomenology allows us no more than the right to interpret the world and its transcendent source through our own free decision.Although impressed by Norris Clarke's attempt to introduce mutability into God, Lewis Ford still finds Clarke's Thomistic God unacceptable. As a Whiteheadian, he proposes in place of Thomas' God, whose perfection consists in static unity, a God whose perfection consists in a never-ending process of unification. John Smith argues against the traditional dichotomy made between the ontological and cosmological arguments. Rather than opposed methods of proving God's existence, they should be taken as complementary journeys to the divine presence which discloses itself, although diversely, in the soul and in the world. There are parallels between Smith's historical study of two arguments and Clarke's two-fold path to God. Yet Smith is critical of Thomas' cosmological journey to God and does not share Clarke's confidence in its validity. Significant studies in their own right, the three essays as a group challenge Clarke's whole metaphysics of the universe as a journey. Meeting the challenge, Clarke clarifies and refines his own thought.An account of Clarke's philosophy by Gerald A. McCool, S.J. preceds this unified and stimulating philosophical discussion. (shrink)
Recent pain research has concentrated heavily on excitatory processes. However, noxious stimuli activate excitatory and inhibitory systems. As failure of inhibition could underlie some forms of pathological pain, it may be argued that a full understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of pain states can only come from a consideration of all the central sequelae of injurious stimuli. [berkley; blumberg et al.; coderre & katz; dickenson; mcmahon; weisenfeld-hallin et al.].
Part I: Reprinted articles -- Twenty-fourth award of Aquinas medal by the American Catholic Philosophical Association to W. Norris Clarke, SJ -- Interpersonal dialogue : key to realism -- Causality and time -- System : a new category of being -- A curious blind spot in the Anglo American tradition of antitheistic argument -- The problem of the reality and multiplicity of divine ideas in Christian neoplatonism -- Is the ethical eudaimonism of Saint Thomas too self-centered? -- Conscience and (...) the person -- Democracy, ethics, religion : an intrinsic connection -- What cannot be said in Saint Thomas's essence-existence doctrine -- Living on the edge : the human person as frontier being and microcosm -- The metaphysics of religious art : reflections on a text of Saint Thomas -- Part II: New articles -- The immediate creation of the human soul by God and some contemporary -- Challenges -- The creative imagination : unique expression of our soul-body unity -- The creative imagination as treated in western thought -- The integration of personalism and thomistic metaphysics in twenty-first-century Thomism. (shrink)